Congratulations! You’ve just bought a new car. Or perhaps a used car, but it’s new to you! In either case, one of your priorities should be getting it insured so that you’re covered in the event of an accident. Plus, if you get pulled over you want to be sure that you’re not breaking any state laws.
Why Is It So Important?
There are a few reasons why it’s so important for you to transfer your insurance from your old car to your new one, and why you should do it quickly. For one thing, it’s easy to forget if you don’t make it a priority. If you do, then if your new car is damaged, say by a falling branch, your insurance company may not cover it if a certain amount of time has passed.
Not only that, you may want a better policy if you’ve replaced your old car with something nicer. If you were just carrying liability on your old car, you’re going to have a tough time if your new car is in an accident. You won’t be able to get it fixed or replaced.
You also need to make sure that all of the information on your insurance properly matches the information on your registration. Making sure to get your vehicle covered promptly can help with that. Also, if you sold your old car and the new owner gets into an accident, still having it on your policy could cause a number of issues you’d be much better off avoiding.
When Should I Transfer It?
Usually, if you are already carrying an insurance policy, you won’t be required to transfer your new vehicle to it immediately. In most states, you have a grace period. This period might be ten days or as many as thirty. However, it’s not a good idea to put it off until the last minute. There could also be unforeseen issues with transferring it which could take some time to work out, and then you’d be out of the grace period.
The best thing to do is to contact your insurance agent as soon as you get a new car. Make sure you have the following information handy:
- The odometer reading (mileage)
- The car’s vehicle identification number
- The car’s title, or its registration
- The make and model of the car
- The year of the car
If you have all of this information on hand when you call, your agent should be able to transfer your insurance to the new car smoothly and without there being any lapse in your coverage. You’ll also be able to find out if, and how much, your premiums may have changed. If the car is newer, it may cost more to insure. However, if it is a less expensive or flashy model, you might be surprised and get a break on the premium price.
Should I Shop Around?
It is always a good idea to compare different insurance policies. However, don’t do so much comparison that you run out of time to insure your car during the grace period. If possible, do your insurance comparisons before you officially sign the paperwork. That way, you can get your new car and your new insurance coverage the same day. If you let your insurance agent know in advance that you are purchasing a new car and the relevant information about it, they’ll be able to work up a few different quotes for you as well. Then you don’t have to worry about being caught off-guard or without insurance if an accident happens.